# Highly Recommended《Bran-New + The History & Making of The world Most Powerful & Feared Bank In The World》William D. Cohan - MONEY AND POWER : How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World
This #1 New York Times bestseller in paperback edition is a bran-new book and nicely wrapped with protective book-wrapper. The original new book is sold at usual price RM65.98. Now here Only at RM18. From the bestselling, prize-winning author of THE LAST TYCOONS and HOUSE OF CARDS, a revelatory history of Goldman Sachs, the MOST DOMINANT, FEARED, and CONTROVERSIAL investment bank in the world For much of its storied 142-year history, Goldman Sachs has projected an image of being better than its competitors--smarter, more collegial, more ethical, and far more profitable. The firm--buttressed by the most aggressive and sophisticated P.R. machine in the financial industry--often boasts of "The Goldman Way," a business model predicated on hiring the most talented people, indoctrinating them in a corporate culture where partners stifle their egos for the greater good, and honoring the "14 Principles," the first of which is "Our clients' interests always come first." But there is another way of viewing Goldman--a secretive money-making machine that has straddled the line between conflict-of-interest and legitimate deal-making for decades; a firm that has exerted undue influence over government since the early part of the 20th century; a company composed of "cyborgs" who are kept in line by an internal "reputational risk department" staffed by former CIA operatives and private investigators; a workplace rife with brutal power struggles; a Wall Street titan whose clever bet against the mortgage market in 2007--a bet not revealed to its clients--may have made the financial ruin of the Great Recession worse. As William D. Cohan shows in his riveting chronicle of Goldman's rise to the summit of world capitalism, the firm has shown a remarkable ability to weather financial crises, congressional, federal and SEC investigations, and numerous lawsuits, all with its reputation and its enormous profits intact. By reading thousands of pages of government documents, court cases, SEC filings, Freedom of Information Act papers and other sources, and conducting over 100 interviews, including interviews with clients, competitors, regulators, current and former Goldman employees (including the six living men who have run Goldman), Cohan has constructed a vivid narrative that looks behind the veil of secrecy to reveal how Goldman has become so profitable, and so powerful. Part of the answer is the firm's assiduous cultivation of people in power--dating back to 1913, when Henry Goldman advised the government on how the new Federal Reserve, designed to oversee Wall Street, should be constituted. Sidney Weinberg, who ran the firm for four decades, advised presidents from Roosevelt to Kennedy and was nicknamed "The Politician" for his behind-the-scenes friendships with government officials. Goldman executives ran fundraising efforts for Nixon, Reagan, Clinton and George W. Bush. The firm showered lucrative consulting or speaking fees on figures like Henry Kissinger and Lawrence Summers. Famously, and fatefully, two Goldman leaders-- Robert Rubin and Henry Paulson--became Secretaries of the Treasury, where their actions both before and during the financial crisis of 2008 became the stuff of controversy and conspiracy theories. Another major strand in the firm's DNA is its eagerness to deal on both sides of a transaction, eliding questions of conflict of interest by the mere assertion of their innate honesty and nobility, a refrain repeated many times in its history, most notoriously by current Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein's jesting assertion that he was doing "God's work." As Michiko Kakutani's New York Times review of HOUSE OF CARDS said, "Cohan writes with an insider's knowledge of the workings of Wall Street, a reporter's investigative instincts and a natural storyteller's narrative command." In MONEY & POWER, Cohan has marshaled all these gifts in a powerful and definitive account of an institution whose public claims of virtue look very much like ruthlessness when exposed to the light of day. Cohan has done a remarkable job by providing a blow by blow account on the history and influence of Goldman Sachs ever since the firm's birth about 142 years ago. The company's history is filled with conflicting interests, events, and intense emotions. “Goldman Sachs has been both envied and feared for having the best talents, the best clients, and the best political connections, and for its ability to alchemize them into extreme profitability and market prowess.” The saying "It takes a lifetime to build a good reputation but you can lose it in a minute" seems to apply flawlessly to Goldman Sachs' leaders' controversial decisions before and during times such as the global financial crisis (2007 – 2012). Their conduct has brought not only the firm, but Wall Street culture out into the open which “traditionally has been seen as an engine of growth betting on America's successes, and not its failures”. Reformation cannot happen overnight, but by displaying the facts for the general public to see, we are catalyzing progressive change on Wall Street. Cohan goes deeply into the firm's history and does an extensive and brutally honest analysis on the world's most powerful investment bank. A job well done. Goldman Sachs (GS) has become iconic, attracting both superlatives and expletives. To members of Wall Street they are the pinnacle; to Rolling Stone Magazine they are “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity.” According to business author William Cohan, “The firm’s inexorable success leaves people wondering: Is Goldman Sachs better than everyone else, or have they found ways to win time and time again by cheating?” Cohan answers in a comprehensive, compelling, and insightful book that lets readers know where the firm has innovated and excelled, and where it has misstepped, entered into conflicts of interest, or simply lost its way. Far more to-the-point than Charles Ellis’ long-winded (and almost sycophantic) book, The Partnership, each major character is introduced with a short biography Neither does Cohan have an axe to grind like Greg Smith in his 'tell-all' autobiography, Why I Left Goldman Sachs. Without either of his fellow authors' baggage, Cohan is more objective and provides valuable perspective on Goldman's ethical lapses and regulatory trouble. For example, in telling Goldman Sachs’ history Cohan explains the investment trusts that were popular in 1929 - at the height of that stock market bubble – and then draws parallels to the both the 2008 sub-prime shenanigans and to centuries old events such as the South Sea bubble, illustrating that both investors’ herd mentality and the investment banks’ complicity are time-honoured traditions. The first one hundred years of Cohan’s book focuses on the rise of GS, the (good) relationship they had with their clients, and their increasing stature amongst their peers, but from subprime onwards, it is a story of profit and antagonistic or conflicted relationships. With a shift of this magnitude, it’s no surprise that Smith chose to air his views publicly. Cohan writes at length about the inner workings of Goldman’s subprime mortgage machine which, along with Andrew Ross Sorkin’s Too Big To Fail (which focuses on the government and central bank’s roles) and Michael Lewis’ The Big Short (which highlights the outsiders who would bet against and profit handsomely from the machine's output), gives an excellent understanding of the 2008 financial crisis. It is almost surreal to read Cohan’s play by play of Goldman trader Fabrice Tourre’s (‘The Fabulous Fab’) coordination of the ABACUS structured products that then became part of The Greatest Trade Ever for John Paulson. Despite Goldman’s reputation for having turned a profit on the subprime mess - at times betting directly against its clients - it's interesting to read of the internal confusion that reigned at the firm. Goldman, however, was able to take action. As Cohan writes, “… even if Goldman Sachs had a conflict, and even if they were the first to cry wolf, it seems all of the other Wall Street firms just stared at the wolf, ignoring it, and blaming Goldman Sachs for calling it a wolf. Goldman Sachs was the only firm to run from the wolf, even though that wolf was a frankenwolf created by their own sheep herd.” Reading about Goldman’s internal conflict with clients and external competition with peers makes one wonder how the crisis might have played out had GS not had such large financial incentives in creating sub-prime products and then later in betting against them. Cohan has written the definitive book about Goldman Sachs, leaving readers to judge for themselves whether it is the pinnacle of finance or a vampire squid. --------------------------------------------- The Washington Post Review: When J. P. Morgan & Co. opened its new building at 23 Wall Street, at the corner of Wall and Broad, in 1913, it didn’t bother to put its name on the door. The bank assumed, doubtless correctly, that anyone who had legitimate business with the Street’s most famous and powerful bank would know where to find it. Goldman Sachs’s new headquarters on West Street in lower Manhattan also has no name on the door. Indeed, it has no name in the lobby either. The anonymity is, perhaps, a mark of Goldman Sachs’s self-evaluation that it, like the Morgan Bank a century ago, is the undisputed leader of Wall Street. It’s hard to argue with that assumption. Goldman Sachs has made massive profits in recent decades, two of its recent heads have gone on to become secretary of the treasury, and another became a U.S. senator and then governor of New Jersey. It survived the financial debacle of 2008 better than many equally venerable Wall Street institutions, especially Lehman Brothers. Its corporate culture, like that of Morgan before it, is widely studied. But how did it attain its current financial and political eminence? In “Money and Power,” William D. Cohan, whose book “House of Cards” was a big best-seller, tells the story of Goldman Sachs from its humble beginnings to its current power and glory (although it hardly rules the world, despite the over-the-top subtitle). Those beginnings were humble, indeed. The firm’s founder, Marcus Goldman, a Jewish immigrant from Germany, began as a peddler in Pennsylvania’s coal country. By 1850 he owned a clothing store in Philadelphia, and in 1869 he moved to New York, where he opened an office in a cellar at 30 Pine Street, where the door said, “Marcus Goldman, Banker and Broker.” But Goldman was only on the very lowest rung of the financial business, dealing in what today would be called commercial paper, and small-potatoes commercial paper at that. He loaned money to local merchants against their accounts receivable. Goldman worked his way up, and by the 1880s, when he took a partner — his son-in-law, Samuel Sachs — he was doing a gross business of $30 million a year in the commercial paper market. By the 1890s, Goldman Sachs was making annual profits of around $200,000 and had joined the New York Stock Exchange. Marcus’s son, Henry Goldman, took the firm into the underwriting business — raising money for expanding firms by helping them sell shares of their stock — and thus into the Wall Street big time. Cohan covers this early history, but only cursorily. Indeed, the history is largely potted, taken from such secondary sources as Stephen Birmingham’s “Our Crowd” and John Kenneth Galbraith’s “The Great Crash, 1929.” The early chapters of “Money and Power” are sprinkled with such phrases as “according to Birmingham.” Using secondary sources is perfectly acceptable, but foisting off on them the responsibility for getting the history right is not. Henry Goldman, for instance, was a very important figure in both the history of Goldman Sachs and Wall Street. But Cohan breezes by him in a couple of pages and seems not to have utilized the recent intimate biography, “When Money Was in Fashion,” by June Breton Fisher. Henry’s rabid pro-German sympathies cost Goldman Sachs business during World War I, and he left the firm in 1917, the last partner to bear the Goldman name. The pro-German stance of many in the German-Jewish financial community seems odd today. But in World War I, it was the deeply anti-Semitic czarist regime in Russia, allied with Britain and France, that they objected to. Only when the legendary Sidney Weinberg enters the story of Goldman Sachs does “Money and Power” come alive. Weinberg, only 5-foot-4 and nearsighted, began his Goldman career in 1907 as a $3-a-week assistant janitor. He ended it as the dominant senior partner and advisor to presidents. His first task as a janitor had been to polish a brass spittoon used by the partners. As the head of the firm, he kept the spittoon on his desk as a reminder of just how far he had come. Much of “Money and Power” amounts to mini-biographies of the major figures in the firm’s more recent history, men like Weinberg, Robert Rubin, Henry Paulson and Jon Corzine. These are well done and absorbing. Cohan’s grasp of the more recent inside politics of the firm is sure and convincing. So is his handling of the financial crisis of 2008. Himself a journalist and former investment banker, Cohan is less at home away from Wall Street and the recent past, and the book has numerous small but annoying errors. Newport, R.I., was not a weekend retreat for New York’s WASP aristocracy, but used only in the weeks before Labor Day. Henry Ford didn’t choose to elevate his grandson Henry II to be head of the Ford Motor Company; he was forced to. Amid the Watergate scandal, Erlichman and Haldeman were fired inApril, not February, 1973. And there are several jarring phrases that stop the reader cold, such as “after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, when the United States decided the time had come to enter World War II.” Decided the time had come? Altogether one has the impression that “Money and Power” was rushed into production before it was really ready. It would have benefited from another few months of authorial attention, research and editing. It is by no means without considerable virtues. It’s just that it could have been a much better book. About the Author William D. Cohan is the author of the New York Times bestsellers House of Cards and The Last Tycoons, which won the 2007 FT/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award. He is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, has a weekly opinion column in Bloomberg View, and writes frequently for Fortune, The Atlantic, Art News, BloombergBusinessWeek, The New York Times, The Financial Times, The Irish Times and The Washington Post, among other publications. He also is a contributing editor on Bloomberg Television and a frequent on-air contributor to MSNBC, CNN and CNBC. A former investment banker, Cohan is a graduate of Duke University, Columbia University School of Journalism and the Columbia University Graduate School of Business.
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